October 14, 2022 FDCI

Ode to Hope

Rina Singh of Eka ends size-sim, reimagines life after the world has witnessed the worst disaster as she narrates the story in Jamdani and pixelated motifs.

By Asmita Aggarwal

It has been twelve years since Rina Singh forayed into the world of fashion and what makes her journey special is the love she feels even now for each ensemble that is handcrafted in her studio. People wear what they find comfortable and, in some ways, synonymous with their personality and it is this aspect that her label works on.

Though Rina has elevated many projects, what remains memorable is the craft-oriented intervention in Telangana clusters of Mahadevpur. Understanding how the entire eco-system is based around royal patronage and the temple where tussar is grown, in the forest, nearby is handwoven. “It is the purest form and they still use primitive technology like thigh reeling,” says Rina. Inspired by their austerity came the line that paid homage to characters like Jo March from Little Women –strong independent and looking for ensembles, you can wear to a book reading or literary conferences. The handloom park project helped her combine her two loves—-ikkat and merino wool.

Rina, as a designer derives joy from contemporarising the kurta for Uniqlo and taking the simple cotton from Narayanpet and tailoring roomy trousers and long jackets exuding universal appeal. “Whenever I design a line, I imagine a character,” she says, adding the digital format wasn’t exciting enough for her to do a show. Though what prompted her to carry on, despite the despair that surrounded the world was her clients who told her, the Eka label gave them comfort in tough times, instilling confidence.  “There has to be a purpose in what we do, clothes are a huge part of what we feel inside, on days you feel desolate, they inspire you to carry on,” she admits.

A physical show, she believes gives you the opportunity to tell a story, it brings in the drama and extravagance as “we create a canvas of colours, mood, music and happiness”. “Fashion is a business of beauty, but it must be thought provoking too, and clothes I have realised have the power to lift your spirits,” she explains. This year, she has reimagined how Alice (Alice in Wonderland) rediscovers herself after a ‘fall’. The fall here is metaphorical, how we all have learnt to live again after we lost a loved one, or faced a debilitating illness, the collection is a celebration of hope.

This churning in the world has been reflected in the pixelated flowers in her fabric of choice —Jamdani, mirroring a digitalised world that we exist in. “It is an orchestra of colours—so no single colours; like a double ‘s’ or a ‘A’ major in music, almost like poetry,” she says. The silhouettes are away from the body, and there are no sizes, XL to small or medium, everyone should fit into the clothes, ending size-ism. “We have improvised the motifs, mixed it with hand block prints, created underlayers and overlayers,” she explains.

The idea is to offer an interesting colour mix, play with transparency, almost offer a dream-like quality. “It has a youthful vibe, and not age specific, I hope this will bring optimism to the lives of my buyers,” she concludes.



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Fashion Design Council of India